An “executor” is a person who is designated to look after the affairs of someone in the event of their death. If an effective will is in place, being an executor simply means carrying out the instructions of the will. Even so, there are many other details. Many executors seek the assistance of an attorney. Here are some of the key matters to consider.
Before you begin, gather all your necessary documents:
• Proof of Death Certificate from the funeral home
• Birth Certificate of the deceased
• Copies of all insurance policies
• Information on all memberships (which may entitle the estate to benefits)
• Bank passbooks
• Marriage certificate
• Copy of the will
• Property deeds
• Previous tax return
• Credit cards
• Social insurance number
• Provincial Death Certificate (provided by Vital Stastistics)
Bank Documents: The monthly bank statements often indicate where the deceased has been drawing income, making contributions (such as to insurance policies), investing, and making monthly payments. This information helps to complete a list of organizations and companies to contact. Banks most often allow executors to use funds from this account to pay funeral expenses.
Insurance: Be sure you know all the insurance coverage to which you‘re entitled, such as company and union insurance, insurance in the case of a motor vehicle accident, and insurance that comes as part of a membership in an organization. Insurance agents can guide you through the steps to making insurance claims.
Canada Pension Plan: Benefits may be available to the families of anyone who has contributed to CPP.
Old Age Security: The estate should receive a final cheque from the federal government for the month in which the death occurred.
Workers’ Compensation: Funeral expenses may be allowed in the case of an industrial accident.
Last Post: Veterans may be entitled to benefits.
Empolyment and Income Assistance: Individuals who were being supported by government services may be entitled to financial assistance.
Airline Compassionate Fares: Some airlines provide discounted fares to family members who must attend a funeral.
Income Taxes: Even after death, tax returns must be filed. This task can be complicated and have significant financial implications. It is advisable to seek help from your accountant and lawyer.
Application Timing is Important: Remember, in almost all cases you must take the initiative to make an application for the benefits discussed here – often within one year of the death.